I don’t work with clients for any less than $1,000/month.
Before you say “Geez Dr. Ben, that sure must be nice.” there’s something you need to know… You shouldn’t either. No matter what services you provide and what industry you work in, I’m willing to bet that you need to raise your rates. Dramatically.
I’ve worked with countless students in dozens of industries. In nearly every case they’ve been criminally selling themselves short. They always push back when I tell them to raise their rates. Yet invariably they come back to me a few weeks later shrieking “You were right! I raised my rates and they didn’t bat an eye!” Now before you think I’m telling you to be greedy… Before you think I’m telling you to squeeze every last dime out of your clients just because you can…
There are actually 5 reasons why your customers want you to charge them more. When you understand these 5 things you’ll realize that you shouldn’t charge more just because you can… you actually have an obligation to do so. This is going to change how you do business, and it’s going to revolutionize how you look at your offerings.
So let’s dive in…
They always say “under-promise and over-deliver.” Well, I like James Altucher’s variation on this: “Over-promise and over-deliver.”
Always look for opportunities to go above and beyond. Deliver better work than the client expected. And pitch them extra ideas. Give them more paths to success. Show that you care about their business and want to help them grow
Nobody does this. So you’ll instantly put yourself above 99% of the competition. The problem is, you can’t do any of these things if you charge low rates. You have to finish each project as fast as possible so you can move onto the next paycheck. You have no extra bandwidth to go above and beyond.
So by charging more, you give yourself time to over-deliver. You can afford to put all of your strengths, skills, ideas, and brainpower to work for your client. They’ll pay a little more, but when the see the work you deliver, they’ll be happy they did.
We respect what we pay for. And the opposite is true too. Have you ever heard anyone brag about how cheap their open-heart surgery was? Or what a bargain their wife’s wedding dress was?
Of course not. Because there are some areas in life where quality matters more than cost. And when it comes to growing their business (which is their baby) your prospects definitely value quality.
They don’t want a cheap worker on Fiverr to do a crappy job just to save a buck. They want to believe that they’re working with an expert who knows their industry inside and out. They want to work with someone who knows how to generate results.
Obviously the most important part is delivering the results. But you also have to consider the perception as well. By charging more, you instantly signal to your client that they’re paying for a premium service. It’s a little ego boost to them that they’re working with the best. But it also means they’ll respect your advice and will listen to what you have to say… which leads to better results in the end.
It’s not only about the quality of the work you deliver. It’s also how you deliver the work.
Here’s the thing… as a service provider, you’re more than just a graphic designer or a writer or a web developer. You’re also a counselor. And a coach. And a motivational speaker.
Your client doesn’t realize it, but they don’t just want you to deliver the final product. They also want you to be so excited that your enthusiasm infects them too. They want you to believe so whole-heartedly in your strategies that it convinces them everything is going to be ok. And that massive success is right around the corner.
They want you to be so fired up by working together that it validates their business and their products. And they want working with you to be fun. But you can’t be fired up if you can’t pay the bills. You can’t infect them with your enthusiasm if you’re worried about where the next check is going to come from.
So charge an amount of money that will allow you to jump up in the morning and say “Let’s get to work!”
A lot of people have a hard time raising their rates because they’re confused about what their product is.
For example, a podcast editor might say something like “I could never charge $1,000 because I’m just sending a dropbox link to my client. And my competitors charge much less.” But your product isn’t an .mp3 file.
Your product is the end result that you offer your client.
So maybe your product is a podcast that gets more downloads and more shares. Or maybe your product is the ideas and suggestions you pass on to your client, because you’re neck deep in the best cutting-edge strategies. Or maybe you don’t require as much direction and feedback as your competitors, so what you’re really offering is time to work on other projects without interruptions, and with the peace of mind that the job is going to get done right the first time.
Whatever your product or service is, dig down deeper and think about what the end result is that you’re really offering your clients. Base your prices on that and you’ll have an easier time raising your rates.
If you run a graphic design business, you shouldn’t be doing graphic design. If you run a writing business, you shouldn’t be writing. If you run a web design business, you shouldn’t be designing websites.
No matter what your business is, you’re the CEO. And that means your job needs to be running the business. Getting clients. Closing sales. Keeping customers happy. Making sure the work gets done… not doing the work yourself. And your clients expect this to be your job too.
They don’t want to hire just a freelancer. Because if they do, they’re going to have to micromanage you. They’re going to have to check your work. They’re going to have to enforce deadlines. They don’t want to do those things.
They just want an amazing end result. They want YOU to provide the project management. The quality control. Not to mention the vision, knowledge, and big ideas.
So if you charge more, you can hire people to deliver the work while you provide all of those high-level things. And here’s the cool thing. You don’t necessarily need to hire full-time employees. Or even part-time freelancers. There are tons of services out there that you can outsource work to.
You can outsource the work to services like these, and then you can spend your time and energy on providing a world-class experience to your clients.
Putting it into practice
You know what you need to do, so now it’s time to do it! The only problem is… you need clients to practice on. Which is easier said than done.
Getting clients on demand is definitely a difficult skill to learn. But luckily it’s one that I’ve dedicated the last five years of my business to mastering. Now I have a playbook full of specific strategies that work wonders.
If you haven’t mastered this skill yet, here are a couple of my favorite techniques you can start using today:
What objections do you have?
I’ve taught this stuff long enough to know that you’re probably thinking right now… “This all sounds great Ben… but this doesn’t apply to me because my industry is different. This won’t work for my business because ______.”
If that’s you, please leave a comment below and let me know why you don’t think you could charge more for your services. I’ll be happy to share stories and examples to prove that you can!